Click on the issue you need help with to jump down to that portion of the page.

  1. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  2. Consumer Complaints
  3. Department of Education
  4. Department of Labor
  5. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  6. Federal Student Aid
  7. General Financial and Emergency Assistance Resources
  8. Housing
  9. Internal Revenue Service
  10. Medicare
  11. Military
  12. Non-immigrant Visas
  13. Passports
  14. Postal Issues
  15. Preventing Identity Theft and Fraud
  16. Small Business Administration
  17. Social Security Administration
  18. Veterans

 

1. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

 

2. Consumer Complaints

Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission deals with issues such as consumer complaints, credit repair and credit issues, and debt relief and debt management issues.

Federal Communications Commission
The Federal Communications Commission deals with issues such as regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable.

Consumer Product Safety Commission
The Consumer Product Safety Commission works to protect American citizens from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products.

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks.

 

3. Department of Education

Department of Education

 

4. Department of Labor

Department of Labor

 

5. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

 

6. Federal Student Aid

Federal Student Aid


7. General Financial and Emergency Assistance Resources

2-1-1 Texas
This website provides information about local resources including finding food or housing, child care, crisis counseling or substance abuse treatment, mental or physical help, financial assistance, and transportation. You may also dial 2-1-1 on your phone – it’s free, confidential, and available 24 hours a day/seven days a week.

Benefits.gov
This website offers information regarding government benefit and assistance programs.

My staff and I also suggest contacting your county’s human services department, which can also be a good source for assistance.

For information about affordable health care, visit the Department of Health and Human Service’s webpage for Health Resources and Services Administration, or you can contact your county’s human services department.

 

8. Housing

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs

Internal Revenue Service

Preserving Homeownership: Foreclosure Prevention Initiatives
(Provided by Congressional Research Service)

 

9. Internal Revenue Service

Internal Revenue Service

 

10. Medicare

Medicare.gov

 

11. Military

U.S. Army

U.S. Navy

U.S. Air Force

U.S. Marine Corps

U.S. Coast Guard

Texas National Guard

TRICARE
Health care service for veterans

Department of Defense

Defense Financing and Accounting Services

Federal Voting Assistance Program
Absentee voting assistance for service members and families

United States Department of Labor (1-866-487-2365)

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

Reserve Affairs

Internal Revenue Service

 

12. Non-immigrant Visas

According to the U.S. State Department, “nonimmigrant visas are for international travelers coming to the U.S. temporarily. The visa…allows [the person] to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (airport, for example) and request permission of the Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection immigration officer to enter the United States. A visa does not guarantee entry into the U.S.”

Non-immigrant visas are issued for reasons including tourism, business, medical treatment, and certain types of temporary work. A full list of visa types can be found by on the Visa Types for Temporary Visitors webpage.

It is advised to apply for a visa well in advance of intended travel dates.

The State Department suggests the following important steps to remember:

  1. Review your visa status and find out if you need a U.S. visa or a renewal.
  2. Review the Visa Wait Times information for interview appointments and visa processing at each embassy and consular section worldwide available on our website. Visit the embassy or consular section website where you will apply for your visa to find out how to schedule an interview appointment, pay fees and any other instructions.
  3. Plan on an interview, as well as quick inkless fingerprint scans at the U.S. embassy or consulate, which is required for most visa applicants. Some visa applications require additional administrative processing, which requires some additional time. Applicants are advised when they apply. 

Travel.state.gov

 

13. Passports

Travel.state.gov

Passports are obtained through your local passport acceptance agent, usually at the Post Office.

Passport services include:

  • Applications for a new passport
  • Renewal of old passports
  • Replacement of lost, stolen, or damaged passports
  • Addition of new pages to existing passport

For the most current processing times, CLICK HERE.

For the most current passport fees, CLICK HERE.

You must apply for a passport in person if:

  • This is your first application
  • Your expired U.S. passport is not in your possession
  • Your previous U.S. passport has expired and was issued more than 15 years ago
  • Your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under 16
  • Your currently valid U.S. passport has been lost, stolen, mutilated, altered, or damaged

You may apply for a passport by mail if all the following are true:

  • Your most recent passport is available to submit and it is not damaged
  • You received the passport within the past 15 years
  • You were at least age 16 when it was issued
  • You still have the same name or can legally document your name change

Additional renewal information provided by Travel.state.gov:

  • If you are a U.S. citizen residing abroad, you should renew your passport at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
  • You are encouraged to mail your passport application and any personal documents using a traceable delivery method.
  • Please do not submit any prepaid return mailing envelopes or mailing stamps. Newly issued Passport Books are delivered via Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation, unless you pay for overnight delivery return service at the time of application. Overnight delivery service is not available for passport cards, which are delivered via First Class Mail only.
  • In order to protect the contents of your mailing from the elements throughout the delivery process, it is strongly recommended that you mail your passport application and personal documents in an envelope large enough to fit the application without folding. Please do not use a standard letter-size #10 (4 1/8" x 9 1/2") envelopes.
  • Passports renewed by mail in the United States may only be mailed to United States and Canadian addresses.
  • If you are behind in child support payments, you may not be able to get a passport (see Child Support).

Traveling to Mexico, Canada, or the Caribbean

U.S. citizens are required to present a valid passport, Air NEXUS card, or U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document, or an Alien Registration Card, Form I-551 when traveling to Mexico, Canada, or the Caribbean.

If you need your passport in a hurry, the State Department offers the following advice:

  • Cost, in addition to regular application fees, is $60 per application plus overnight delivery costs.
  • Two-way overnight delivery is strongly suggested.
  • Please do not submit any prepaid return mailing envelopes or mailing stamps. Newly issued Passport Books are delivered via Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation, unless you pay for overnight delivery return service at the time of application. Overnight delivery service is not available for passport cards, which are delivered via First Class Mail only.
  • If you submit a passport application by mail, clearly mark "EXPEDITE" on the outside of the envelope.
  • We strongly encourage you to mail your passport application and any personal documents using a traceable delivery method.
  • Additionally, in order to protect the contents of your mailing from the elements throughout the delivery process, we encourage you to mail your passport application and any personal documents using a secure means of packaging, such as a Tyvek envelope.
  • Anyone may request expedited service for any type of application (e.g., first-time applications, renewals, amendments of existing passports, etc.)
  • Please note, passport applications sent together or at the same time do not necessarily remain together.
  • Your passport book and/or your passport card may be mailed separately from your returned citizenship evidence.

For the most current passport forms, CLICK HERE.

To check your application status, CLICK HERE.

For additional Frequently Asked Questions, CLICK HERE.

 

14. Postal Issues

United States Postal Service

 

15. Preventing Identity Theft and Fraud

If you believe someone has used your personal information (e.g. name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information) without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes, you may be a victim of identity theft.

If you are a victim of identity theft, the Federal Trade Commission (1-877-ID-THEFT; 1-877-438-4338; TTY:1-866-653-4261) recommends you take the following steps immediately:

  1. Place an initial fraud alert
  2. Order your credit reports
  3. Create an identity theft report 

To order a free copy of your credit report, visit AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.  

The following websites offer tips to help prevent identity theft:

U.S. Postal Inspection Service

Federal Trade Commission

Federal Bureau of Investigation
 

16. Small Business Administration

There are many federal programs to assist small businesses. Some are designed to improve the capacity of small businesses to grow and expand; others offer low-interest or guaranteed loans, advice, counseling, and mentorship.

The following information was prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), and gives guidance and Internet resources on non-financial Federal assistance:

Business Opportunities with the Federal Government

Information gateway, prepared by the Congressional Research Service for Members of Congress, provides guidance and online procurement procedures for doing business with the federal government. [March 2009].

Information & Training

Registering for Government Contracts

Federal Business Opportunities

Subcontracting Opportunities

Selling to the Military and Department of State

U.S. Small Business Administration

 

17. Social Security Administration

Social Security Administration

To learn about benefits, click on the following links:

To apply for benefits, click on the following links:

To check application status, CLICK HERE.

To appeal a decision, CLICK HERE.

To report waste, fraud, or abuse, CLICK HERE.


18. Veterans

For veterans resources, CLICK HERE.

Available benefits for veterans include:

  • Health Care
  • Disability Compensation
  • Disability Pension
  • Survivor and Dependent Benefits
  • Education Benefits
  • Life Insurance
  • Burial Benefits
  • Home Loans

For a full list of benefits, CLICK HERE.

For information on how to apply for benefits, CLICK HERE.

To request military records, CLICK HERE. (Please be aware that on July 12, 1973, a fire at National Personnel Records Center destroyed approximately 16-18 million Official Military Personnel Files.  Click here for more information on the affected record collections.)

You may also contact the National Personnel Records Center via mail or phone:

National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, Missouri 63138
Phone: 314-801-0800

For information on military awards, decorations, and replacement medals, CLICK HERE.